• “You never know how your day is gonna turn out."
I’m an idiot, and I make no apologies for it. When it comes to movies, I need things to be largely spelled out for me, otherwise I just won’t understand them. This film, directed by the wonderful Denis Villeneuve and starring the always engaging Jake Gyllenhaal, does not have any interest in spelling things out. Gyllenhaal plays a man who discovers he has a doppelgänger, and becomes obsessed in his dogged pursuit of finding out who and why he is. Things are obscured, clues are given but never confirmed, and symbols abound. The film is quite slow, and as much as it feels like a deliberate slowness, nevertheless it’s not an action packed film. And yet in spite of all these issues, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed watching it. And yes, Gyllenhaal is great in his dual role, and the other actors play their parts well. There’s a pleasing stillness and quietness and yellowness to the way it is shot, which means it all looks very nice (as I’d expect from Villeneuve). And the score seems to be ever present, and such an effective creator of tension and mistrust and ill feeling that often the diegetic sound of a scene is muted, to allow the music to control everything. All of these factors contribute to my enjoyment of the film, but a big one that I’m compelled to point out is its length. Beginning to end it’s 90 minutes with credits, and that’s so rare. For me, the ability of a film to come in, tell a story, and then leave without outstaying it’s welcome is one that should be valued more highly than it is. If this had been 2 hours I’d likely have a much dimmer view of it, but as it is, the shorter run time allows me to forgive it certain issues. Also, once you do work out what’s going on (or google it if you’re like me) it is very clever, so it’s well worth a watch.
3 spider nightmares out of 5 •
Awesome art by @Gokaiju
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